This essay is a reflection of my journey during placement. The essay will allow me to reflect on my learning outcomes, development and contributions l made during the placement.
According to Reid (1993, p.3), “Reflection is a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyze, evaluate and so inform learning about practice”. Furthermore Nash (1999) explains that deep thoughts are involved in the process of reflection, both looking back at the situation and projecting forward towards the future. Kemmis (1985) supports the above by highlighting that, reflection is a positive active process that reviews and evaluates experiences drawn on theoretical concepts or previous learning to provide an action plan for the future experiences. Additionally, Johns (2000) defines reflection as a window through which the practitioner views and focuses on the self within the context of their own lived experience, in order to confront, understand and work towards resolving the contradiction within practice and professional development on what is desirable and the actual practice. John (1995) adds that, reflection is a personal process that results in some change in their perspective of a situation or create new learning for the individual.
Communication is made up of more than just words we use. According to Dunhill (2009, p19), communication involves “conveying, sharing, exchanging, transmitting, broadcasting and receiving information, ideas and feelings between people.” Writers such as Trevithick 2005; Wilson et al 2008 and Lishman 1994; also consider communication as covering any sort of interaction that takes place between people. This was evident in my placement that I had to use verbal and written communication to carry out activities and to discuss any concerns with parents and to build relation with staff and pre-school children. However, in some cases language, background, age and pronunciation was a barrier with the pre-school children. My verbal accent was different from the one the pre-school children spoke. l also observed that l spoke very fast and pronounced some of the words different from the way the pre-school children understood the words. As a result this became a barrier to my communication with the pre-school children and staff. Robb et al (2004) concurs with the above that communication and effective relationship can be blocked by differences in individual`s background, race, gender, age, class, personality. Furthermore Romaine (1994), quotes language as having power structure built inside it. According to Robinson (1998, p79), certain ways of speaking largely related to powerful people, are associated with superiority, for example, accents and dialects, which are “versions of a language or distinctive vocabulary, grammar and pronunciations that are spoken by particular groups of people or within particular regions”. l practised speaking slowly so that the pre-schools even members of staff could understand me. I practised pronouncing some of the words the way the children understood them and sometimes asked the children how to say or pronounce some of the words for me to learn. I decided to get involved in activities by taking the leading role and reading stories for children to improve my verbal communication.
The feedback I got from the children and other staff members and my observations helped me work on my listening skill to improve my communication skills both verbal and written. As highlighted by Roberts and Oates (1997) that active listening involves focusing on the student speaking to you in order to understand what he or she is saying. Attentive listening covers being able to put across to another person that one is emotionally and mentally available to them. Moreover, it is being able to understand what is being communicated verbally and non-verbally. Egan (1982) states that being a skilled helper is based on the ability to...